Thomas S. Saras
Sandie De Freitas
Kathy L. L. Li
- Welcome Remarks by the chair.
- Minutes of the previous meeting
- Report of the President/Discussions
- Presentation by Migrants Resource Centre
- New Members/New Business
Welcome Remarks by the Chair:
The Chair Dr. Tajdolati chaired the meeting and declared the meeting open. Jonathan Annobil moved a motion to approve the agenda. Leila Monteiro seconded it. The motion was carried.
Minutes of the previous meeting:
Jonathan Annobil moved a motion to approve the minutes of the previous monthly meeting and Arash seconded it. Minutes of the previous monthly meeting was approved unanimously.
- Thomas Saras welcomed everyone to the monthly meeting of November 2019. NEPMCC had another productive year and the organization is working on a number of important projects this year which will benefit all the members. President Thomas Saras said that this year the Government will reward all legitimate ethnic media houses as it has a budget for it. All members that are in good standing with NEPMCC stands to get benefitted by its association and involvement with NEPMCC. The Government has allocated $10 million for the media industry and there are several programs where the members could apply for funding under this budget. In the program also included and the members of the Ethnic Press of Canada. The Local Journalist Initiative deadline is fast approaching and President Thomas Saras encouraged members to apply who qualify for the project.
- The Aid to Publisher Program is still under review as the new ministry has just formed. The new programme will be launched early next year and the office of the President will notify the members about the rules and regulations for the Publisher Programme. An education session will be arranged with the officials of the ministry for the benefit of all members.
- President Thomas Saras educated members on various projects undertaken by NEPMCC and especially on the LJI. President Thomas Saras informed about the local initiative program The Local Journalism Initiative (LJI) supports the creation of original civic journalism that covers the diverse needs of underserved communities across Canada. Funding is available to eligible Canadian media organizations to hire journalists or pay freelance journalists to produce civic journalism for underserved communities. The content produced will be made available to media organizations through a Creative Commons license so that Canadians can be better informed. He mentioned under this program a publisher can hire qualified journalist or a journalistic student in the final year and get up to a maximum of $26,000 per year. He encouraged everyone who qualifies to fill out the form. Thomas Saras urged members to apply before the deadline expires. He reminded that the deadline has been extended by one week and after that the application process will stop for LJI.
- President Thomas Saras informed the members of the various projects undertaken by NEPMCC and how members could benefit from federal programs for ethnic media.
- The Annual Awards Ceremony of NEPMCC which took place on November 15 at the council chambers City Hall was a huge success. President Thomas Saras thanked the entire team that worked hard to make this event successful.
- NEPMCC Annual Dinner which took place on, December 13 at the Greek Community Centre of Toronto was an overwhelming success. The event was attended by all levels of Government including Premier Doug Ford, MPP Aris Babikian, MPP Michael Coteau and host of other dignitaries. The event had spectacular multicultural performances along with exquisite international cuisine. The vent was sold out and was very well organized.
- There were suggestions on the floor that any members received funding from the government under ATP may make a donation to NEPMCC as NEPMCC has worked hard to ensure members receive funding. The suggestion was unanimously endorsed as it is the duty and responsibility of the members to ensure that NEPMCC is in strong financial position as it tirelessly works hard for the interests of its members.
- President Thomas Saras is trying to arrange another meeting with the officials of Heritage Canada after the new cabinet is formed to educate the member on the new rules governing the funding programmes for publishers. Once guidelines of the Aid to Publishers program is drafted, the office of the President of NEPMCC would organize an educational roundtable discussions with the government officials to clarify and educate the members of NEPMCC on the rules, regulations and criteria governing various funding programs for publishers.
- President Thomas Saras encouraged all to renew their membership in 2020 to take advantage of the privileges of the membership. NEPMCC has been over the years fighting for the rights of the members to stand in shoulder to shoulder with the mainstream media.
- Educational conference/seminar will be held this year for 3 -4 days. A survey will be sent to the members to finalize the curriculum of the seminar. Daniela Spirlac from BeSoacial Event will send out a survey to the members.The seminar will most likely take place in Seneca College.
- The president also encouraged all the members to apply for an ID or Media Pass of the organization. There are so many benefits; the president said that it is to one’s advantage to have it.
- The President spoke about the ongoing student internship program in cooperation with the schools of journalism. Internship will be from 3 – 6 months. The program will cover $15 per hour per student and the rest has to be covered by the respective organizations .Maria Saras-Voutsinas is in touch with student intern coordinator from Seneca College. The program has started from January 2019. Any member interested in hiring students for their publications should contact Executive Director Maria Voutsinas as it is on first come first serve basis due to limited funds approved by the Government on this project. This is a win- win situation as it will benefit the students as they will gain from the valuable experience as well as the members as they will get additional help in a very subsidized rate to run their publications. There was a suggestion that members receiving assistance for the internship program should make small donation to NEPMCC. The program has already started in January of 2019 and is in the new phase in January 2020 and only those members, who have not received funds through the internship program are eligible to apply this year and contacted Executive Director Maria Voutsinas expressing their interests in hiring Student interns for their media outlets .Members eligible to apply will be given preference on a first come serve basis. Members were informed in the previous meetings that in order to qualify of funding for internship program- there should be a proper office or workspace for the intern to work.The program since had received an overwhelming response and members who could not participate last year may be given another chance in the next phase provided they meet the requirements of this program.
- Motion: Joe Volpe moved a motion that any member who gets funding from Government through Government programmes because of the efforts of NEPMCC should make a donation of one percentage point of the amount of funds received by them. He said the percentage point amount could be more if decided by all members but at least all members should agree in principal to pay an agreed upon percentage point of the funding received.
- Arif Ahmed seconded it and the motion. The motion was unanimously carried.
Presentation by Migrant Resource Centre (MRCC)
Jesson Reyes, Mithi Erguerra, Kota Kimura made presentation about the purpose and mission of MRCC.
The Migrants Resource Centre Canada aims to improve the lives of migrant and immigrant workers by advancing their rights and dignity while working and living in Canada.
MRCC upholds migrant workers as key actors in the pursuit of this goal. Its role is to assist in capacity building and cooperative action towards full participation into Canadian society. MRCC provides workshops and thematic education series to our clients and community groups, partners. MRCC prioritizes working with worker led organizations to build worker capacity. MRCC provides up to date information and counselling on Immigration, Labour and health related information. We refer our clients to appropriate servicing agencies or community organizations to address their immediate concerns. MRCC facilitates socially engaged research and collaboration with the post-secondary institutions to raise awareness and improve the lives of migrants and newcomer workers.
Arif Ahmed , Mila Garcia, Lydia Sun, Marek Goldyn, Karim Mirshahi and others participated in discussions following the presentations.
President Thomas Saras suggested that members of NEPMCC can run a campaign in all their respective publications and also suggested the staff of MRCC to connect with John Cartwright President of Toronto Labour Council for help regarding labour related issues.
Presentation by Mila Garcia
Mila Garcia mentioned that the book and art festival organized by Filipino Canadian Writers and Journalists Network that took place on November 17 at Council Chambers in City Hall was a huge success. An event celebrating the life and historical contribution of Philippine hero Andres Bonifacio was featured with works by Filipino Canadian writers and artists, and a presentation by an award-winning Filipino journalist and 2019 Marshall McLuhan awardee Patricia Evangelista. BONIFEST also launched the poster of The Struggle for Philippine Independence, a brief account composed of 15 historical dates and periods and their significance in the Filipino people’s resistance against Spanish colonialism, American imperialism and Japanese invasion, from 1571 to 1946. The poster was the product of research and a series of discussions conducted by the Filipino Canadian Writers and Journalists Network (FC-WJNet). Mila Garcia thanked President Thomas Saras for co-sponsoring the event. She also thanked President Thomas Saras for his keynote speech.
New Members/ New Business:
Marek Goldyn moved a motion to adjourn the meeting and Karim Mirshahi seconded it. The motion was carried. The Chair adjourned the meeting at 9 pm. The next monthly meeting would take place on Monday, January 13, 2020 at the member chambers and also the member lounge, at the Toronto City Hall.